I think the politics has the potential of being one of the best parts of the series, and currently poses one of its more interesting puzzles.
First, the claim that “poor of Duomo are happy and free-spirited”, is pretty clearly not true. They’re poor, they have poor medical care, they’re desperate, and, as is often the case, they are divided as to where their salvation lies — Metal Age, Atlas, or perhaps somewhere else? These are not the placid Earth-dwellers living in harmony and peace with Mother Nature, resisting the oppression of their despoiling, capitalist overlords. They like their Atlas chocolate bars, and they like medical care, and they like electric lights. They would like to live in Atlas, and queue up for the opportunity and the Green card lottery.
What does “Metal Age” represent? I suspect the common feeling is that they’re some group of Green Robin Hoods and Miyazaki Marauders. And, I can imagine such a thing would seem a bit trite, even though I’m sympathetic to the idea of Green Robin Hoods, and quite fond of Miyazaki. With a name like “Metal Age”, how green can they be? That’s not a phrase that rolls trippingly off the tongue of a Deep Ecologist. In episode one their idea of a party to celebrate Kuniko’s return was stoking up the boilers. This is blamed for a subsequent bobble in the CO2 market, prompting a response from the environmental enforcers. I don’t know that Metal Age are the narodniks that people expect to find as the central protagonists in a series set in the aftermath of a great environmental change.
Not that there isn’t a bit to be said for Miyazaki Marauders, though their warnings are best listened to before the waters rise and the food shortages grow acute.
I’m looking forward to seeing how all that works itself out as the series progresses.
Another thing I’m enjoying in this series is the way Gonzo is constantly teasing the audience about their own notorious panchira ways. Another turning of expectations on their head.